Monday, October 24, 2011

Singapore. Is dirty money that pays Singapore's Rajah and Tann, Singapore's largest law firm

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper Straits Times has the story "Rajah and Tann now largest law firm in Singapore".

"The firm has eclipsed Allen and Gledhill, the previous No. 1, as measured by the number of staff" the story says.

"It is one of the 50 top law firms in Asia" and "in the past 12 months it has set up offices in Ho Chih Minh city and Bangkok" the story says.

Well the question is, with a relatively small business market like Singapore, where does all that money come from? And second, is all that money legit?

Remember, you are dealing with a country like Singapore where the brutal military junta leaders of Burma are not only given red carpet welcomes when they visit Singapore, while they brutalize and torture their citizens, orchids in Singapore were even named after them!

And recently we had the recent official visits of North Korean leaders to Singapore, perhaps to negotiate legal contracts on their drug smuggling activities around the world, and the several visits of the Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and his wife ostensibly for medical treatment but more likely to stash away illegal money in Singapore banks.

With all this rather dubious activity that the Singapore government under Lee Kuan Yew appears to specialize in, as far as legal firms such as this, raises some eyebrows as to what exactly do they do to get all this wealth.

One thing certainly comes to mind when you read about Singapore government connected law firms such as this.

Their attorneys usually don't appear to have much interest in defending the rights of the ordinary man as opposed to big business.

Recall my earlier post where I interviewed one of their lawyers Shamila Nathan who confessed that she had lived all her life in Singapore.

Yet she claims she has never heard of Chee Soon Juan, Lee Kuan Yew's foremost political critic who continues to be persecuted for his beliefs.

Shamila Nathan and every single one in this government law firm would be quite happy to protect drug lords stack their money in Singapore banks, but not someone who is punished for exercising his human rights.

If Rajah and Tann very probably has Burmese drug lord clients and possibly even connections in Burma, I suppose one can understand why.

There is a lot of dirty money to be made with Burmese drug money connections, something which they would not be too happy to admit.

Burmese drug lords need lawyers too.

Contracts for drug money transactions have to be drafted, banking agreements have to be entered into and complicated money laundering transactions have to be worked out.

For all these unsavory activities you need lawyers just as Al Capone the gangster had a large team of them.

And since these crooks have a great deal of dirty money, firms like Rajah and Tann with their large team of lawyers stand to make a very good living.

And very soon the word gets out to any crook anywhere in South East Asia that if you need lawyers to arrange money laundering contracts, you need not go any further, Rajah and Tann are the people you need.

It is a very serious thing for anyone to accuse a law firm of dishonesty, which I am doing here, since it is much more likely to attract a defamation lawsuit from a law firm than from someone else, since for lawyers integrity is their main commodity. Lose integrity and you lose business.

If Rajah and Tann believes that what I had said is wrong, the right thing for them to do would be to sue to clear their name, especially since they being a Singapore law firm where defamation laws are strictly enforced, a serious accusation such as this left unanswered is likely to be believed.

But I doubt very much they would sue because to win, they would have to show that I was wrong.

But you know I am not wrong.

Lee Kuan Yew does do business with Burma.

Many of them are drug lords.

Many of them are clients of Rajah and Tann.

In these circumstances proving themselves upright citizens and upright lawyers would be a difficult proposition, especially if the lawsuit was commenced in the USA.

I hope many read this blog and realise what sort of people populate Lee Kuan Yew's island of Singapore and their law firms.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Singapore. All that hype and glitter doesn't help in the end.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Do you ever notice Singapore spends a great deal of time and effort promoting itself as a first rate country, best in everything, with all their skyscrapers and glass towers that skirt the shoreline.

I reckon, this this does fool some people from the West believing all that nonsense to be true, only to realize that it is so much Lee Kuan Yew hogwash making them leave as quickly as they came.

Only this time, they take with them the knowledge what the real Singapore is, nothing but a dictatorship police state resulting in Singapore hurting even more.

Take all this talk about Singapore being somehow good in Maths education.

This is only good only as long as this belief remains outside Singapore.

But when some American teacher comes to Singapore and learns about this Singapore miracle first hand, she is going to go away with a much worse impression than she first came in.

She would notice that Singapore teachers, unlike American teachers, deliberately instill fear in their children instead of spontaneity or independence and confidence.

Just look at Singapore students.

They are afraid even to speak publicly and so are their teachers, all afraid of Lee Kuan Yew and his son if anything unflattering was said about them.

In this climate of fear, how do you teach anything, let alone mathematics.

I tell you, the American mother is much better off with her American teacher.

If you need a Singapore style education, you would be doing even better by sending your child to North Korea.

Myself, Gopalan Nair would have ended up a far inferior specimen of a human being had I remained in Singapore.

I have managed to become Lee Kuan Yew's number one state enemy and a proud recipient of the status of a disbarred lawyer in Singapore because I have been educated and lived abroad.

If you want your child to grow up an independent thinking confident individual, then last place to educate him in the world is Singapore.

Both teachers and students in Singapore are so timid and insecure, they are afraid of their own shadows.

Singapore boasts of the rule of law and so does North Korea.

If it does have the rule of law, it is the type you see in North Korea.

For instance, in immigration, you really don't know what the law is.

Singapore states it invites immigrants who are encouraged to apply.

But nowhere except in broad terms, does anyone know the requirements for admission.

Assuming you do apply, if you are successful you are so advised.

If not, except for a single line replay, "Sorry you have not been successful" you have no idea why you were rejected.

What happens is they look at your history.

If you have had a history of active civic responsibility etc, they look at you as a trouble maker, which they do not want.

On the other hand if the only thing you have done is to pass your exams with no opinion one way or another, you probably would be accepted.

You would successfully blend into one of Lee's "digits", a derogatory term he has used to describe his hapless Singaporeans.

Even though they claim to be fair, Malays are never given immigration.

Indians are allowed if you happen to be one of those who have a college degree but nothing much more in your head, especially not someone who has been active in India's politics.

The fear is, you would turn your interest into Singaporean opposition politics.

As far as Chinese from Mainland China are concerned they are admitted in almost unlimited numbers.

Uncouth uncultured illmannered peasants who may have some skills in carpentry or cooking Chinese chop suey.

They are of no real benefit to Singapore but are seen as safe immigrants, who would come in and keep their mouths shut in politics as they do in Communist China.

As they pose no threat to the Lee Kuan Yew police state, they are preferred.

Also their increased numbers would keep the Malays and Indians in check as they are seen more likely to be irritants to Lee's police state.

Some people from the West do come under the mistaken belief that Singapore was something else, but when they find out that Singaporeans enjoy no human rights, the police can pick up anyone anytime they want, there is no free press and the judges spend more time punishing Lee's critics than dispensing justice, they make a turn about back to the democracies in the West from where they came.

Consider men and women in science research and technology who would have mistakenly come to Singapore.

They soon realise that in a sterilized society devoid of an independent spirit such as Singapore research and science cannot flourish.

They too turn around and return home the way they came.

Almost every single independently financed student who goes abroad never returns.

A few who are bonded with scholarships return but only reluctantly and when given a chance, they leave as soon as they can.

I understand 9 out of 10 scholarship students break their bonds and rather suffer financial penalties than return to Singapore.

Singapore appears to erroneously think that they can maintain their rule simply by increasing the hype and the false promotion of Singapore.

This is not possible.

In today's world of interconnectivity, people can find out that the grass is greener on the other side.

And when they do, the very ones that Singapore needs the most are the very ones that desire and have the capability to leave the most.

What Singapore needs is democracy, not dictatorship.

Singapore needs freedom not Confucianism.

This whole idea of a few select scholars being given the power to rule over a modern citizenry is just not a workable model.

What you need is to empower everyone to have a say about their lives.

This way everyone participates in government, everyone feels they have a stake, and everyone begins to have a sense of loyalty.

Singapore today continues to suffer from a massive brain drain.

Just yesterday, I tried to enquire about a former lawyer who was in Singapore when I was there, Venugopal Kurup.

I was told he is no longer there.

He is in Perth Western Australia.

He is just one of the many thousands who have left and continue to leave.

I suppose he has been replaced by a Chinese peasant from Chendu, the Interior Province, Communist China.

As we speak, in addition to the unstoppable brain drain which I understand is the highest in the world, the birth rate is the lowest well below replacement rate and the population except for recent immigrants from China is aging fast.

These recent immigrant peasants from China know nothing about Singapore and they are given preferential treatment by allowing them to retain their Chinese nationality; although outwardly it claims that dual nationality is disallowed.

This is another lie like the thousands of lies Singapore puts forward when it suits them.

So when things are no longer comfortable for them, or for any reason they change their minds about Singapore, they leave and perhaps replaced by others from their country.

Indians from India who become citizens also remain as long as they want since they too can return to India anytime under India's laws.

In the end it does not matter if anyone becomes a Singapore citizen.

Singapore citizenship is not only illusory, it is also transitory.

Frankly a worthless piece of paper for the moment and to be tossed when it's purpose is served.

Lee Kuan Yew has managed today to reduce Singapore to nothing better than a loose woman whom you use for the moment.

When you have had your pleasure and it is time to go, you simply discard her.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

A light moment from Fremont, San Francisco, California

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are always some funny moments when you are in a different country which does not know yours, as the following

I was watching rugby once on TV and later told my colleague about it. She asked what is rugby, understandably since in USA the primary sports are baseball and American football, which they call football. I told her it was a game similar to football and the best team in the world are the New Zealand All Blacks. She asked me if that meant all their players are black like black Americans? I said no, only their uniform is black and they are not necessarily black. No one in the British Commonwealth like Singapore or Malaysia would have asked that question!

When I first arrived here, I did not have a car and going to San Francisco Bus Depot, I asked a guy passing how do I get to Sacramento. Sacramento is about 3 hour drive from San Francisco. He told me "Catch the Dog". Puzzled by his answer which made no sense, I looked surprised. Looking at me he reassured me by saying "You know the dog goes everywhere". I was even more surprised, thanked him and walked away. A minute later I looked up at the street and lo and behold, before me there was a big bus with a huge picture of a greyhound dog on it's side. Only then did I realise that he was telling me to catch the Greyhound Bus Lines, a long distance bus company that goes to Sacramento, and for that matter everywhere else!

Sometimes it is funny when you are some where else. Life! I enjoy it every minute. Especially writing this blog.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Singapore, an airplane in trouble

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Imagine, Singapore was an aircraft flying at 10,000 feet. It has icing on it's wings obstructing smooth airflow and reducing lift. It is flying too slow, causing difficulty remaining aloft. The pilot instead of pitching nose down to increase speed and airflow over wing surface, pitches nose up increasing drag. Both wings are just about to stall, into a nose dive and crash. The pilot is not monitoring the instruments. Presently Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew is this aircraft.

Lee Kuan Yew and his family and friends pay themselves millions which is daylight robbery. The people hate him and his family for this corruption. The legal system is completely discredited with judges punishing Lee's political opponents instead of administering justice. Thousands of people have been victims of state sanctioned beatings, called canings in Singapore and permanently crippled both mentally and physically. It has the highest rate of executions in the world, several hundreds each year.

Except for offshore banking, money laundering and tourism, there is no other profitable industry. Singaporeans are leaving the country en masse for settlement abroad, there are no children being born in the island and the growing older population is dying off. To replace them large numbers of Mainland Chinese peasants who speak no English are being brought in.

This is not a plan to remain airborne for the aircraft Singapore. It is a plan to go into a tail spin and a crash over the Mandai jungle.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Singapore's silenced lawyers. An interview with Edmond Pereira

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On Oct 17, 2011, Monday 7pm Fremont California time which was 10 am Oct 18, 2011 10 am Singapore time, I telephoned Edmond Pereira, Advocate and Solicitor (Singapore's term for an Attorney) to seek his views on Freedom of the Press in Singapore.

On the whole, he appeared an ardent spokesperson for the Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship and their repressive laws which deny every single human right which is taken for granted everywhere else in the free world.

Singapore is a country where political leaders earn highest salaries compared to anywhere else. For instance Lee Kuan Yew, his son and every one of his ministers earn a staggering $3.7 million dollars a year each. Everywhere else this would be called corruption. In Singapore it is called a salary, which is nothing short of 5 times what the President of the United States gets.

There is no freedom of the press. The entire press is controlled by the government. There is no right to free speech. If you say anything against Lee and his government, you get sued, bankrupted and even jailed. There is no right to peaceful assembly or protest; you will be arrested. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is completely negated. The country is a one party state and every single member in Parliament is a PAP supporter even though outwardly 6 were voted from the opposition (but in truth Lee supporters).

I did not tape the conversation as Mr. Pereira objected. The interview did not go well as it began to be very clear from the outset that he had no intention of answering the questions and be nothing more than a Lee Kuan Yew government defender. At the end it almost descended into a shouting match at which time he decided to terminate it. For what it is worth, I write the following:

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree, there is no freedom of speech in Singapore.

Pereira: There is no complete freedom of speech anywhere in the world. Look at the press in England. If you ask 10 people in England, they all are fed up with it. Almost everyone hates the press which has descended into a laughing stock. They can say anything they want in England.

Gopalan Nair: Well it depends which 10 people you ask. I may find many who love the press in England. And anyway, you have recourse to the law if your rights are violated in England

Pereira: Yes that is true.

Gopalan Nair: But coming back to Singapore, do you agree that there is no freedom of the press in Singapore

Pereira: I agree there is censorship in Singapore. Perhaps a little too much censorship. But you should understand the reasons why the government imposes this censorship. Singapore is unique and has its own reasons why the press has to be censored. You should not be allowed to go around and say anything you want. Perhaps there is a need for censorship

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree that there is no right to free speech in Singapore?

Pereira: No I don't agree. There is free speech.

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree there is no rule of law in Singapore

Pereira: I disagree. There is rule of law.

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree that the late JB Jeyaretanm was denied his free speech when he was repeatedly sued, bankrupted and jailed and there was nothing wrong in what he said about Lee Kuan Yew.

Pereira: JB Jeyaretnam was tried and convicted in a court of law. It is not possible for me to comment in such a case where he was tried and convicted and was found liable in damages for defamation. Are you asking me to revisit what the law courts had decided about him?

Gopalan Nair: But surely as a lawyer, you are aware of what he had said or wrote and you can see there was nothing wrong with it.

Pereira: There is a proper way to say things and an improper way.

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree that in Singapore I cannot even stand peacefully in a street corner and make a speech without being arrested.

Pereira: But you will be arrested if you are causing a disturbance.

Gopalan Nair: I agree but even if I caused no disturbance and was vey peaceful and stood at a street corner and quietly and calmly gave a speech, I would be arrested, and is this not a violation of the free speech and assembly clause.

Pereira: In Singapore the culture is such that no one does this sort of thing, such as speaking in public. They might think you are mad and send you to the mental asylum

Gopalan Nair: But assuming I did make this speech and they arrested me and sent me to the mental asylum and it was discovered I was not mad after which I returned to the spot and spoke again. Would I be arrested?

Pereira: I am having a pain in my ear listening to this. Moreover I have to get back to work. In fact I was looking at a letter while I was speaking to you. I am a very busy man and do not have the time to read blogs. I am not sure whether you have any work but I spend my time working hard. I am sorry I have to say goodbye.

Edmond Pereira is of Indian decent and born in Singapore. He has about 34 years of practice. He reminds me of an elephants who are first caught in the wild and eventually tamed into complete submission and domestication from the wild. Initially when caught the first time, they put up a fierce and desperate struggle to return to the wild and be free from captivity. But after repeated and prolonged restraint from the mahout, they eventually realize that resistance is hopeless and submission and obedience is the only option. This is the sad case of men such as Edmond Pereira.

It is not that he is not aware that Lee is a dictator; he is. It is not that he is not aware that paying $3.7 million a year to Lee Kuan Yew is daylight robbery; he is. It is not that he is not aware that every single constitutional human right of citizens in Singapore is denied; he is. It is not that he is not aware that there are very many proud and independent small countries with small populations not dissimilar to Singapore where citizens enjoy all their rights; he is. Yet for him, admitting any of this is dangerous. Lee might take away his livelihood. Therefore like the subjugated elephant, he submits to authority without resistance.

He is like Winston in Orwell's 1984, who finally agrees that Big Brother is right afterall.

I had earlier written that no lawyer in Singapore would dare to defend Lee Kuan Yew's arch enemy Chee Soon Juan in any law suit. One of them who would not dare is this Edmond Pereira.

I thanked Edmond Pereira for granting me this interview and I have his permission to publish it with his name. His contact details, Edmond Pereira and Partners (even though he appears to a sole proprietor without any partners), 111 North Bridge Road, #10-01, Peninsula Plaza, Singapore 179098, Email:, Tel (65)6336 2122.

P.S. He also said Americans like me think too much of themselves as if the world revolves around them. In fact, he said, Singapore is so good now that according to him, thousands and thousands of people around the world, including Americans are all giving up their US passports and taking up Singapore citizenship. As for me having the time to talk to him, he said that unlike him, it appeared as if I did not have any work. (I think he did not realize that when I called him it was 7 pm on Monday with the difference in time, and one does not necessarily work at 7 pm)

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Singapore. A life without rights

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is very strange for an observer to note Chee Soon Juan, a Singapore dissident and Lee Kuan Yew's foremost critic always defends himself in court in his numerous political cases.

It is not what you think. He does this, not because he thinks he is a brilliant barrack room lawyer who can outdo any of those thrown at him by Lee, but because, believe it or not, no lawyer in the entire country will represent him.

And this fact speaks reams and reams of the extent to which Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore has descended into a complete island of fear.

It is fear that grips the entire citizenry preventing them from saying anything the government does not like.

And it is fear that prevents every single lawyer from doing what they were trained to do, as they do all over the world, which is defending rights.

Any doubt about the extent of this fear that blankets the entire country should be evident from this fact. Subhas Anandan has been crowned the title, the best criminal lawyer in Singapore by the Lee Kuan Yew government and their state controlled press.

In a country where your guilt or innocence is decided not so much by what you had done but by who you are, this man's success comes more from behind the scene deals he makes, as the government lawyer with a Class A seal of approval.

Sometime ago, when he was asked whether he would defend government critics, he candidly remarked "Give me murderers, cheats and crooks of all dimensions anytime. But please don't give me political dissidents". Simply put, if he defends a political dissident, Lee will end his career. And because he practices law in Singapore, he refuses to defend any government critic.

A Singaporean lives without rights not just in political cases. He lives so in every aspect of his life.

Administrative law is what touches the daily lives of every citizen anywhere in the world.

And this failure by the Singapore government to protect rights deprives any citizen of any security whatsoever. You are simply living at the mercy of Lee and his friends in government. This is, despite the glass skyscrapers which skirt the shoreline, the worst third world country you can imagine.

Lets take some examples. A Malay Singaporean goes to the HDB, the Singapore housing agency which owns almost all residential property where citizens live. He might choose a desirable apartment with a view to rent (every apartment is rented on 100 year leases. No one owns residential property expect for the 1% super rich).

As he is not Chinese or because someone else with government connections had wanted it, his request is flatly denied. In any other country, there is an grievance procedure to ensure this sort of bias and injustice does not occur. But in Singapore there is none. This Malay can complain as much as he wants, but to no avail. He simply has to accept it.

A Malay student does very well in his exams and applies for a government scholarship. Despite his excellent grades, he is is refused and some other Chinese immigrant student is given it. No reasons are given in their letter to him except a simple non committal sentence such as "We have carefully considered you application but it is denied, thank you". There is nothing the Malay student can do but to grit his teeth in anger and just go away. There is no grievance procedure in place, no appeals procedure, no nothing.

A Malay man wants to apply for one of those ubiquitous hawker licences to sell tea and coffee. Unbeknownst to him, some other Chinese man which connections to Lee Kuan Yew's ruling People's Action Party had also applied for the same licence. Predicted result, Malay denied, Singapore Chinese man with PAP connections granted.

A Malay taxi driver was found overcharging a customer. The Singapore Taxi authority calls him up and tells him he is suspended from driving for 3 months, which means no income for the entire period.

In addition, a fine of $1,000.00. Just a month ago a Chinese taxi driver who regularly volunteers his time at the Toa Payoh Resident's Committee, a branch of Lee's Peoples Action Party was also caught overcharging, except in his case the amount was much more. Yes, you guessed the outcome. Chinese errant taxi driver gets off with just a warning.

And your political inclination affects your destiny far more than anything else. If any political dissident, which happens to be only a handful in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, were to be guilty of the slightest infraction, you can be sure that he would face very very harsh punishment while the Lee Kuan Yew supporter walks Scot free.

It is this sort of blatant injustice that cuts across the entire island that makes life in Singapore very unattractive. There is simply no checks and balance against this sort of thing.

First, you have no independent press or investigative journalism which would speak against this, since if Singapore had a free press, the island's problem of repression would be solved with one stroke.

Second, you don't have an independent judiciary as a check against these abuses, since the judiciary is simply a rubber stamp for anything that the government wants. Third the legal profession has been effectively cowed as can be seen in my last post, "Singapore lawyers quietly accept their lives under Lee Kuan Yew" of Oct 12, 2011.

To put it simply, it is an alright country to live if you want to stay there for a bit and earn a few dollars and go home when you have had enough.

But it is not a country that you would want to call home.

It is not a country to live in with rights, because you haven't any.

As long as you are quite happy to move along when the police tell you in the police state; to accept the denial of your application even though it is clearly meritorious; to accept your employment termination simply to replace you with a ethnic Chinese with lesser qualifications; to accept your denial of your job application even though you are the most highly qualified applicant and to plead guilty to any crime which Lee and his friends decide to attribute to you, then you can be happy, momentarily.

Otherwise go somewhere else, and not to Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. Or if you are a native Singaporean, emigrate.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Singapore lawyers quietly accept their lives under Lee Kuan Yew

Update 10/13/2011/ have faxed this blog to Shamila Nathan of Rajah and Tann, and the 2 others lawyers interviewed (other than the Swiss William Hold)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday I had wanted to speak to Singapore lawyers to find out what they thought about their lives in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

We already know that Singapore has no free press, the entire island's press media TV and radio all controlled by the government, which meant you get propaganda there, not real news.

Second the Constitutional rights of citizens are denied with legislation in place denying peaceful assembly, free speech, protests or anything else. Being lawyers supposedly trained in common law jurisdiction, one would have thought these restrictions which go to the root of one's very existence would be totally unacceptable particularly to lawyers who by training are experts in citizen's rights.

I spoke to 4 lawyers yesterday over the phone and what I discovered was an eye opener. Contrary to what I had expected, which was to complain about their disagreeable lives under a Stalinist Lee Kuan Yew regime, they were in fact supportive of the system.

First I managed to speak to Shamila Nathan of Rajah and Tann, of Straits Trading Building at Battery Road Singapore. I mention her name because she came across as an thoroughly unscrupulous person, a mercenary, completely devoid of any conviction or principle and she had thought she could say anything she wanted just because I may not have known what Singapore really was. I confess I used a false name to get her speaking to me after which I told her who I really was. Once I did that she was almost pleading that I should not quote her in this blog. The following is a brief summary of the conversation:

Gopalan Nair: I am (so and so, not my real name). I am from California. May I ask you a few questions about the law in Singapore?

Nathan: Sure go ahead.

Gopalan Nair: I have read that the Singapore legal profession is shrinking as many are leaving the country such as to Australia

Nathan: Yeah, but now they are all coming back

Gopalan Nair: I understand that foreign lawyers are allowed to practice in Singapore now. Are you a foreign lawyer?

Nathan: Yes, I am a foreign lawyer but if you pass certain exams, you can practice Singapore law.

Gopalan Nair: Are you sure, you can practice in all areas of law just as a local lawyer?

Nathan: Yes, that's true.

Gopalan Nair: How do you find practicing law in Singapore when the government denies human rights such as the Constitution being violated

Nathan: I don't know because I don't involve myself in politics

Gopalan Nair: How long have you lived in Singapore?

Nathan: I have lived in Singapore all my life

Gopalan Nair: have you heard of a man called Chee Soon Juan

Nathan: I have not heard of Chee Soon Juan

Gopalan Nair: That appears impossible

Nathan: I don't read Singapore newspapers

Gopalan Nair: Do you not agree that Lee Kuan Yew is a dictator and you live in a dictatorship?

Nathan: He is not a dictator

Nathan: In fact tomorrow I will be able to practice in all areas of the law in Singapore as I have completed the requirements

At this point I thought I had had enough and thanked her and got off the phone. A minute later, I called again and this time identified myself:

Gopalan Nair: Have you heard of a Gopalan Nair who was recently disbarred in Singapore

Nathan: Yes, you are from Fremont.

Gopalan Nair: Do I have your consent to publish what we spoke in my blog Singapore Dissident?

Nathan: No please don't publish it. I did not know who you were at first. I don't want my name to be published in your blog.

Gopalan Nair: Do you not admit that whatever you told me was the truth

Nathan: Yes but I don't want my name to appear in your blog. I am just starting out in may career, and I don't want to spoil it.

Gopalan Nair: Do you agree that I am not violating any one's right by publishing it?

Nathan: Yes, but please don't publish it.

(By this time, she was almost pleading)

This young woman Shamila Nathan does not cut a figure of a lawyer anywhere in the world, rather like a fearful little girl trying to make a buck the best way she can.

One thing is certain, if your rights are on the line, I don't think you would have much success with a woman like this. This is not the sort of character who would defend your rights at all costs, even to her own detriment, as a good lawyer is supposed to behave. But in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore where it is better to say that you have never heard of Chee Soon Juan, I think she would probably have a very bright future.

Then I called William Hold, a Swiss man from the same firm. This conversation was short:

Gopalan Nair: What do you think about practising in a country that denies human rights

Hold: (With a Swiss German accent) I practice commercial law only.

Gopalan Nair: But still you are a lawyer and you are form a democracy. What do you think of practicing in Singapore which denies human rights

Hold: I have some work to do. I am sorry. Good bye

As far as Hold is concerned, I think he would be as comfortable in Rangoon Burma if they had work in commercial law. Nothing more to be said of Hold.

I then called an Singaporean Indian lawyer, lets call him X, whom I knew before from the 1980s. He has a practice in Peninsula Plaza North Bridge Road Singapore. He used to be a partner with another senior criminal lawyer in the Arcade, Singapore who died of a heart attack at which time the practice ended and he later set up on his own. Then X was full of vigour and ambitious. I saw him in 2008 when I was in Singapore on my fateful trip, a much weaker man in spirit.

Gopalan Nair: Are Singapore lawyers leaving the profession and going to Australia

X: Actually I am not sure

Gopalan Nair: What sort of work do you do now

X: Only insurance (motor) cases

Gopalan Nair: Don't you want to go to Australia too? ( I knew he had been to Australia but had returned)

X: No I will stay here

Gopalan Nair: But I thought you had gone to Australia before?

X: No I have never gone. OK thanks. Maybe we can talk later

End of conversation

Frankly he did not want to speak much. He appeared a disappointed person. He does not appear to have advanced much in a Singaporean career.

I think the problem was that he did not make a real effort to join Lee's ruling party and sing praises which is the principle means of advancement in Stalinist regimes such as Singapore. I have not identified him. He is already in his 60s and if he the way he is now, he is not going to get a spark about rights and justice anytime soon. Best to let him be.

Third I spoke to another lawyer, also Indian, who also started practicing in Singapore around 1980 or a little sooner. His office is at GSM building Middle Road, Singapore. Lets call him Y

Gopalan Nair: Is there a shortage of lawyers in Singapore because they are leaving for settlement abroad

Y: No I don't think so.

Gopalan Nair: those who left, is it for political reasons, because they did want to practice in a dictatorship?

Y: No that is not what I have heard. They have left because they found their children are being too stressed in Singapore schools

Gopalan Nair: You know the Singapore lawyer population figures is about 3,000 only. Don't you think it is very small for a country such as Singapore. Whereas London would have about 100 times that number of lawyers

Y: We always had that figure. We have somehow managed. Now the figures are increasing because those who left Singapore are returning, and there are many foreigners now practicing too

Gopalan Nair: I don't think that lawyers are returning to Singapore to stay. I can return to Singapore for a meal of mee goreng (a popular Singapore dish) but that does not mean I am returning

Y: Many foreigners are being admitted to practice here.

Gopalan Nair: Don't you think the standards of Singapore lawyers are being lowered by 2 Singapore colleges offering easy 2 year courses to make it easier to enter the profession

Y: No, it is the other way round. Singapore law courses are too hard which is why they are going to England because it is easier there and then return to Singapore to be admitted. Today you have lawyers from all over the world practicing in Singapore and are Singapore citizens

Gopalan Nair: You mean like Delany (an Englishman who practices local law in Singapore and who appears to have learnt how to grovel like a dog before the judge like the other Singapore lawyers do. I met him 2008 when he was there doing this disgrace)

Y: Yes, Singapore has now all sorts of people practicing law.

Gopalan Nair: But tell me, how much confidence can you have in your lawyer if all he has is an employment pass and who can be deported anytime by Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew. He is not likely to tread on any one's toes to defend your rights, which is what you want.

Y: No I don't think that is the case.

End of conversation.

Y can be described as the standard Singapore specimen, one who has not stood up for anything, and neither would he for the remaining years of his life, which has been one long crusade to blend in and not stick his neck out for anything. No ideals, no convictions. Nothing. In other words the quintessential Singaporean lawyer.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Singapore police go after opposition poitician Chee Soon Juan for talking to Francis Seow

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times online edition of Oct 10, 2011 has the story "Police investigating Singapore Democratic Party forum".

What is happening is this. Francis Seow was a former Solicitor General of Lee Kuan Yew's Peoples Action Party government for many years during which time he willingly did Lee's dirty work for him, arresting Lee's political opponents, and jailing them to please his then master.

Somewhere along the line, he fell from Lee's grace and was thrown out to the streets by his erstwhile master. Upset at Lee for his betryal, or perhaps also because he turned into a Thomas Beckett of sorts with pangs of conscience, we do not which is which, he announced that he was joining the then Workers Party headed by the late JB Jeyaretnam to contest elections against his former master.

This announcement sealed his fate. Singapore's Machiavelli, Lee Kuan Yew, as expected, came down on him like a ton of bricks, arrested him under the Internal Security Act, gave him a real beating and with a wink and a nod from the CIA, permitted him to leave Singapore for good, for the USA.

The other person in this drama is Tang Fong Har. She and other 22 civic minded citizens, mainly lawyers had got together to do some good for Singapore in the democracy arena. Since Lee considers democracy as anathema which should be excoriated at any cost, she and her fellow travellers were all arrested and detained for extended periods and repeatedly beaten up. During an interregnum at which she was released from the torture, she managed to make her way to Hong Kong and to freedom.

Both she and Francis Seow are treated as fugitives and in the case of Seow, there is also a warrant of arrest against him.

Except for Francis Seow and his rather unsavory past as the hatchet man that he was for Lee Kuan Yew for decades, perhaps we can forgive him as the repentant sinner or the reformed Beckett that he claims he is. I am not sure whether Lee Kuan Yew had mentioned the famous words, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest" that Henry II had said when ordering Seow's arrest but whether he did or not is really immaterial to what we are seeing in this stupidity being drawn out here.

As for Tang Fong Har, no one can have anything derogatory to say about her, other than praise for having the courage to speak up for the down trodden in Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorship. Seow has been living in exile in the US since 1988 and Tang has been similarly living in Hong Kong for same period.

A few days ago, Chee Soon Juan, the head of the Singapore Democratic Party had organized a teleconference session at a local Singapore hotel where Seow and Tang spoke to members of the public who attended, numbering perhaps 100 or so, answering their questions on Singaporean politics and giving their advice and views of how to get rid of Lee and his dictatorship.

Mind you, there was nothing incendiary about the whole thing. Neither of the guests advocated violence, terrorism or murder but only on lawful means for the purpose. Looking at this, it is impossible to see anything illegal about it, unless of course you happened to be Lee Kuan Yew and the subject country was Singapore.

The newspaper report states "The police are investigating whether organizers of last Sunday's forum featuring former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har breached the law".

It goes on to say "the organizers of the forum arranged for a fugitive from justice, Mr. Francis Seow and a foreign national Ms Tang Fong Har to participate in a discussion on Singapore's domestic politics".

It then says "the organizers had arranged for them to do so from outside Singapore's jurisdiction allowing them therefore to be involved in our domestic politics at a public assembly in Singapore without being physically present and accountable".

In other words, it appears incredible as it seems, Chee is being prosecuted for speaking to someone outside Singapore, who holds rather unflattering views about Lee Kuan Yew and his Singapore island! If anyone can tell me why Chee has broken the law for doing this, I would be forever grateful. Frankly I cannot see anything wrong that Chee or any of the others did for speaking to them nor for seeking their advice and opinion.

If any of these people are guilty of some crime or other, then I should have been guilty a thousand times over for writing all this stuff in Singapore Dissident. And all those people who have contributed comments, holding overwhelmingly negative opinion of Lee and his island, should all be guilty of crimes too.

And so should the International Bar Association who were in Singapore and the participants at their conference for condemning Lee and his government as nothing more than a petty tyrant and a gangster's den respectively. Should not all of them be guilty and be investigated for crimes against Singapore?

This is another example of an embattled Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship desperately trying to cling on to power in the wake of of the worst showing in decades at the polls where their share of the votes at the recent elections was the worst in history, a mere 60% with all indications showing the trend to continue unabated.

Lee as you can see is behaving as any other petty tyrant would do anywhere in the world when he sees his grip on his people slipping. What else to do than to tighten the grip and threaten his people to cow and submit or else the whip.

I don't think Chee or the people of Singapore are afraid of this sort of intimidation any longer. Frankly it has the opposite effect.

I am sure Lee Kuan Yew must have heard the theory in physics of an action resulting in a reaction. This sort of petty harassment and intimidation is the main cause of educated people leaving the island permanently for settlement abroad, because we no longer need to live in dictatorial societies where people are treated no better than dogs.

In a way this sort of stupidity serves the cause of freedom more than we think. For example, a large section of the already small legal profession continue to emigrate not wanting to practice law in a fascist regime such as this.

Families are not having children and the local Singapore population continues to shrink, being replaced by second rate immigrants from Communist China.

And most importantly, with cases such as this, Singapore continues to be the butt of jokes in every bar and saloon all over the world over a pint of beer.

As long as Lee continues with this sort of stupidity, his problems that he faces will increase, not decrease.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Singapore is now a foreign country

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore state controlled newspaper's the Straits Times online edition of Oct 03, 2011 has the story "More Singapore employers to hire fewer foreigners for rest of 2011".

It talks about a survey done in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore showing a partial decline in hiring of foreign workers for the second half of 2011, as some say they will hire and some say no.

But either way, it is no consolation for those who are following Singapore's precipitous decline in their native population in recent years.

Truly, if anyone had any hope of keeping Singapore Singaporean, a normal desire of people from all over the world, like keeping Britain British or keeping France, French, I am sorry to say, it is a bit too late.

In fact calling the island of Singapore by it's name of Singapore would today actually be a misnomer.

It may be more accurate to call it a Communist Chinese City, which has pockets of Indian nationals, Burmese nationals, Philippine nationals who have all, by the way, become instant Singapore citizens, while one could also say there are some native born Singaporeans remaining thinly scattered among the recent foreign arrivals.

It is a curious place where these recent arrivals congregate in their own large communities, Communist Chinese enclaves, Indian enclaves and so on.

While the few remaining Singaporeans seek out their own still remaining in the island to try to keep their Singaporean way of life alive, but it is getting more and more difficult because of the rapid decline in their numbers.

Among all the different races or ethnic origins mentioned which make up the Singaporean polyglot, the Singapore native citizens are the ones rapidly declining in numbers, while the foreign population, which continue to arrive in mounting numbers under the Lee's generous and harebrained immigration policies, and who are given almost instant citizenship continue to increase.

This leaves Singapore in the unique position, nowhere to be seen in the world, where like total blood transfusion, the local native born Singaporeans in their own country become extinct while foreigners take their places and call themselves Singaporean.

This transformation of the very character of Singapore is now unstoppable.

It is simply too late to do anything about it.

We all know the reasons for this phenomenon, which is today nothing short of a calamity.

For one, Singaporeans are not procreating sufficiently to the extent that it has the lowest birth rate in the world, despite the fact that the government has gone out on a limb offering all sorts of carrots to induce reproduction.

Imagine, taking a stud horse to a mare, which simply refuses.

I am not sure the reason for this but we can guess.

Singapore is a dictatorship under the iron grip of one man Lee Kuan Yew and his family.

Singaporeans live in daily fear of criticizing their rulers, and the atmosphere is almost one of abandonment of any control over their destinies, all popwer being tightly held over them by the Lee family.

I suppose this is one reason why many people do not wish to raise families there. I didn't.

Other than the childless phenomenon, you have a large brain drain of the educated leaving the island for settlement abroad.

To an outsider this must be inexplicable, since after all, there are many jobs for those who wish to work.

Again the answer can only be in the island's disadvantaged political situation, as a dictatorship.

English speaking (or you could say a form of English) Singaporeans find it easy to emigrate to the West, a place where they can live free and bring up their children in a free and democratic society which they cannot in Lee's Singapore.

This is another big reason for the virtual extinction of Singaporeans in Singapore. It sounds an oxymoron, but sadly true.

The other contributing factor is Singapore's aging population.

The biggest population increase in the island was in the 1940s and 1950s and it is these who are the bulk of Singaporeans.

With their demise and the contributing factor of having the lowest birth rate in the world, not to mention the highest brain drain numbers, Singaporeans by birth are fast racing into extinction, having already become an endangered species in their own country.

Of course Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled press refuses to print any of this because if it did, it would finally and conclusively bring the native Singapore population into extinction once and for all, by the alarm it would cause on those remaining in the island and the consequences therefore.

I am not sure how much Gopalan Nair and this blog Singapore Dissident has been a thorn on the side of Lee Kuan Yew's plans to hoodwink the world into thinking Singapore was something else, but I am sure it has contributed some way at least in worsening the insurmountable problems of brain drain and fewer childbirth.

One thing I do know is this. All dictators stay in power only as long as they can subdue their subjects, which they do by fear, as Lee Kuan Yew does.

What causes him unbearable anger and fury is when someone like me, tells him openly that he is a fraud, which he is, because if more than one person dares to call his bluff, he can longer rule.

Which is why he resorts to innumerable countless defamation lawsuits and arrests against every single critic because he knows the danger of being challenged.

He knows that as long as a single Singaporean reads this blog, and forms a bad opinion of him and loses respect, it is becoming, as Churchill had said, the beginning of the end for the Lee Kuan Yew regime.

That is why every one of us should continue to do what we can, by writing, by agitating or by standing on a soap box at Raffles place and saying a loud NO.

Don't forget Singapore is already a tiny island with a tiny population.

It doesn't take much for Singaporeans to become extinct.

So watch it, it might be gone in a blink.

And quite frankly, this is what I am aiming for, because a mix of all sorts of people in a tiny island from all the impoverished parts of Asia who form tiny enclaves of their own for comfort, without any real Singaporeans cannot really last.

And when the country fails, Lee and his government fail too. And when that happens, the Singaporean diaspora in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Germany and South West Namibia would return to Singapore with their experience and their wisdom and turn it into a real Singapore, not the fraud that Lee and his friends have created today.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.